On the path to another confrontation with the haredim: Ynet has learned that the Education Ministry will inform the High Court of Justice Wednesday that if within four months, the haredi educational system does not reach an agreement with the State regarding the issue of core studies, the government will propose a law obligating them to introduce core subjects to all state schools, including Meitzav standardized testing (tests examining schools’ efficiency and growth measures).
- Minister Piron to haredi schools: No math, no funding
The response of the Education Ministry will be given to the High Court following an appeal that was filed in 2010 by the Israel Religious Action Center – of the Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism. In the coming days, talks will begin between the Education Ministry and representatives of the haredi community, in an attempt to summarize understandings over the next few months, and avoid conflict with the haredi sector.
Education Minister Shai Piron announced during budget discussions that he would work to establish haredi public schools while cutting budgets to haredi tracks. The scheduled negotiations are part of this move. In the coming days, Director General of the Education Ministry Dalit Stauber is expected to meet with representatives of the schools to promote the plan.
Following the appeal, the court decided to create a separation between application of core subjects and the standardized tests. The Education Ministry believes, however, that the two issues are related and cannot be separated.
In May, the government made a decision regarding "strengthening the fundamental studies and the State’s formal education system." The decision sought to change the current situation, under which non-accredited schools were required to use 75% of the basic program used in official schools, and exempt unofficial institutions were committed to 55% of the basic program.
According to the decision, recognized schools which are not official schools, and exempt institutions are obligated to instruct three core subjects: math, English and Hebrew or Arabic language. This should total 100% of the hours relegated for these studies at official schools.
Studies of the remaining subjects will amount to 75% in unofficial recognized schools, and 55% in exempt institutions. The decision will be implemented gradually – over the years 2013-2017. Among other things, the government's decision authorizes the Education Minister to work to establish an official educational track for the haredi population and act, as necessary, to amend the State educational law, in this regard.
The core program, whose official name is the Basic Program, is the shared common denominator of Israeli students. Hours of study required in the basic program are divided into 4 clusters: the "basic languages" – mother tongue, mathematics, science and English.
The "educational core" – covers four areas of education – civic, cultural heritage, social and life skills, and physical education.
The "educational-academic core" encompasses humanities and social sciences. This includes Bible, history, literature, geography, culture, heritage and religion.
A fourth cluster includes additional languages and optional studies.
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